The Artist in the Ambulance

After two well-received independent releases, Orange County, Calif.'s Thrice delivers the goods on its major-label debut.

After two well-received independent releases, Orange County, Calif.'s Thrice delivers the goods on its major-label debut. The band has refined its "screamo" in a way that appeals to math-rock, metal and AFI fans alike while not alienating original devotees. Equally melodic, technical and visceral, "Artist" at times sounds like Iron Maiden, Bad Religion and Rush jamming (which sounds a lot better on disc than it looks on paper). The young band blends such disparate elements as dual guitar harmonies, technical rhythm changes and strings into such songs as "Cold Cash and Colder Hearts" and "The Melting Point of Wax." Thrice also crafts near-perfect radio songs like first single "All That's Left" and "Stare at the Sun." With the four-piece a main-stage act on this summer's Vans Warped tour, expect big things for Thrice's third.—BT